Choosing Your First Vape Kit
Welcome to the world of vaping! If you're reading this article, you're probably interested in vape kits - perhaps because you're a former smoker trying to quit cigarettes or because you love disposable e-cigs and want to try the real deal.
We know how confusing the world of vaping can be; with a wide range of vape devices on the market, it can be near impossible to figure out where to start.
That's why we've created this comprehensive guide to help you choose your first vape kit and pick an e-liquid to vape with it. First, we'll explain all the different types of vaping device, then we'll offer our recommendations for the best beginner e-cigarettes, and finally we'll share advice for picking an e-liquid.
By the time you've finished reading, you'll know everything you need to know about the world of vaping. So, what are you waiting for?
Introduction to e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, vapes, vape kit... there are so many different terms you'll come across online and in vape shops, so let's start by clearing up some definitions.
E-cigarettes and vapes
E-cigarettes, also known as e-cigs or electronic cigarettes are a generic term for any device used for vaping. Also sometimes referred to simply as a vape, vaping device, or vape device, these are electronic devices that create vapour for you to inhale, replicating the experience of smoking a traditional cigarette.
Some of the earliest e-cigarettes were a type of device called a cig-a-like - a vape that mimics the look and feel of smoking a cigarette. Designed as a healthier alternative to smoking to help smokers quit tobacco cigarettes, these often were small, cylindrical, rechargeable vapes that were decorated to look like a real tobacco cigarette.
While cig-a-likes were more common in the past, improvements in vaping technology and the hobby's increased popularity have led to these declining in popularity in recent years.
Disposable e-cigarettes are in some ways the successor to the cig-a-like. Popular among former smokers, disposables are small, pocket-friendly vaping devices that are pre-charged and pre-filled with delicious e-liquid. They're ready to use straight out of the box - all you have to do is unpackaged them and take a drag and the draw-activated e-cigarette will start producing vapour.
Most disposable e-cigarettes available for purchase in the UK and EU feature a 550 mAh battery and 2ml of e-liquid, providing 500-600 puffs or the equivalent of around 45 traditional cigarettes.
Vape kits are referred to as kits because they have all the hardware you need to start vaping: a battery, a tank, coils, and a mouthpiece.
While more advanced vapers may choose to buy these things separately, choosing their preferred battery mod and pairing it with a different tank and coils, vape kits are ready-to-use setups that are more accessible to most vapers.
Pod kits also contain a battery and a mouthpiece, but instead of using a traditional vape tank the coils and e-liquid are held in 'pods'. These pods are small and can often be refilled with e-liquid multiple times before they need to be replaced. The benefit of choosing a pod kit is that they are even easier to use than e-cigarettes with tanks; the pods click in and out of place using a magnetic connection so there's no fiddling around necessary.
Although once the domain of causal and new vapers, advances in pod kit technology mean that there are now high-powered, top-of-the-range pod kits available for vaping enthusiasts and sub-ohm lovers.
Starter kits (sometimes called vape starter kits) are easy-to-use e-cigarettes that are perfect for new vapers. These may be pod kits or vape pens (also called pen-style kits). Often smaller and cheaper than other vape kits on the market, these require very little setup or maintenance for hassle-free vaping. This makes vape starter kits ideal for former smokers who want a simple but enticing introduction to vaping.
Vapers who want to enjoy bigger clouds, higher wattages, advanced modes or settings, and longer battery life may opt for a vape mod paired with their choice of tank and coils. While these mods can provide an incredible vaping experience with a lot of battery power, they can be more expensive and complicated to set up and maintain, so we recommend that new vapers start out with a vape kit before moving on to this hardware.
So, which vape should I buy?
Now we've introduced some of the different types of vaping equipment, it's time to figure out which one is for you. Here are some of our recommendations for great vape starter kits.
Vape kits for first-time vapers
If you've never vaped before in your life and want to give it a go, we've got the vapes for you. One of our favourites is the Uwell Caliburn A2 Pod System. With snap-lid pods that make it super easy to replace the e-liquid and a single fire button that turns on and off with 5 presses, this is a great option for beginner vapers. Moreover, we love the window that allows you to see how much e-liquid you have left - a great feature for a vape starter kit!
We also suggest trying the Vaporesso GEN Fit Kit, a sleek and stylish starter kit that is idea for anyone vaping for the first time. Vaporesso is one of our favourite award-winning vape hardware manufacturers so you can be confident that their starter kits are high quality and high-performing. With three adjustable power levels to get the best tastes from your e-liquid, this is the perfect starter kit for anyone who wants an introduction to vaping.
Vape kits for disposable e-cig lovers
These days, many vapers start vaping with disposable e-cigs, the small, ultra-portable electronic cigarettes that last up to 600 puffs. We even made our own disposable e-cigarette in collaboration with one of our favourite vaping brands, GeekVape. With mouth-watering flavours and amazing multi-buy deals, it's no wonder that the Dr Vapes Geek Bars have become so popular!
If you love the simplicity of disposable e-cigarettes but want to stop spending so much money each month, we have the perfect vape kit for you. The Vaporesso Barr looks and feels similar to a disposable e-cigarette with its tiny, pocket-friendly size and simple design, but this open pod system can be recharged and refilled with e-liquid over and over again. At an unbelievably low price, this vape kit costs the equivalent of two disposable electronic cigarettes and thanks to its refillable and replaceable pods and type-C charging it will last you far, far longer. If you're a fan of disposables and aren't sure whether to upgrade to a vape kit, this is the one you need to try.
Budget-friendly vape kits
A great budget-friendly starter kit is the Vaporesso XROS Mini Kit, a stylish and budget-friendly pod kit that comes in six gorgeous colours. Draw activated and featuring an LED light to indicate how much life is left in the batteries, these provide a delightfully smooth mouth-to-lung inhale. At only £11.99, this starter vape kit is great value for money.
For another cost-effective start kit, try the Lost Vape Ursa Baby Pod Kit. It may have 'baby' in the name but the performance from this starter kit is anything but small! With impressive features like adjustable airflow that allows you to change the vaping style and automatic coil resistance capabilities, this kit is amazing value for money and is a great option for anyone new to vaping who wants to see what amazing features e-cigarettes can offer.
Vape kits for great flavour
When it comes to getting great flavours from your vape juice, Uwell e-cigarettes are some of our favourites. The classic Caliburn KOKO Pod Kit and the attractive GK2 Pod Kit both provide excellent flavours, so if you want to have a go at flavour chasing these are good vape starter kits.
Vape kits that will last you a long time
Another e-cigarette that provides fabulous performance at a low price is the Aspire PockeX kit. This is one of our favourite vape pens to recommend to new vapers because of its impressive features including its compatibility with a range of coils including MTL coils and sub-ohm coils. This means that this kit can last vapers a long time, providing them with the opportunity to stick with mouth-to-lung vaping or try out sub-ohm coils.
If you're keen to try a kit that will give you a few more options as you start vaping at a more advanced level, try the OXVA X Vape Kit. While this electronic cigarette is suitable for anyone new to vaping, it also includes more advanced options for use with sub-ohm mesh coils and up to 40W of power, meaning that this vape can be tailored to your preferences over time.
What else do I need to buy?
Buying your first vape kit is exciting stuff, but don't forget you'll need to buy something else to vape with it: e-liquid.
E-liquid, also called e-juice, vape juice, or vape liquid, is what you put in your vape's tank or pod. When the battery sends power to the coil, the coil heats up all the e-liquid that has soaked into the wicking material, causing the e-liquid to turn into vapour. Then, you inhale the vapour through the mouthpiece.
The type of e-liquid you need to buy will depend on the type of vape you're using and the nicotine strength you require.
Nicotine salts are a great option for anyone new to vaping. With amazing flavours at low temperatures and rapid nicotine delivery, these are perfect for former smokers who need to deal with those cigarette cravings. The nicotine from these e-liquids can be absorbed into the body in as little as 6 seconds, meaning that they provide a satisfying hit as well as making it less likely that you'll accidentally consume too much.
Nic salts tend to have a ratio of 50/50, which means that they contain equal amounts of e-liquids two main ingredients: Vegetable Glycerine and Propylene Glycol. The ratio of these ingredients determines which types of e-cigarette the juice can be used with. Vegetable Glycerine is thicker than Propylene Glycol and therefore it requires more power to turn into vapour. Therefore, a 50/50 e-liquid is fine to use in a low-powered e-cigarette, but a vape juice with 70% VG would require greater power to vape effectively.
Nic salts with 50/50 ratios are perfect for use in low-powered pod kits and vape pens such as the starter kits listed here. Choose the flavours that appeal to you from our wide range of 10ml nic salts here. For first-time vapers, we recommend one of our best-selling salts from our Gems range such as mad mango Topaz or super strawberry Ruby.
Shortfills are another form of e-liquid. The defining feature of a shortfill is that it is completely nicotine-free, but space is left at the top of the bottle to mix in a nicotine shot if you choose. This means that shortfills can be a good option for new vapers who want to try vaping without any nicotine or who want to tailor the amount of nicotine in their juice to their preferences.
One thing to keep in mind about shortfills is that they tend to have a ratio of 70% VG or higher, meaning that the e-liquid is more viscous and requires more power to turn into vapour. As a result, shortfills are less suitable for most pod kits and starter kits, although they can still work with more powerful e-cigarettes such as the OXVA X.
You can browse our selection of shortfills here. Keep in mind that our flavours are available as either a shortfill or a nic salt, meaning that there's something for everyone!
For more help picking an e-liquid, read our full blog post on the best vape juice for new vapers.
Phew, that was a lot of information to take in. If you've made it this far, congratulations - you now know everything you need to know to start using your first vape kit. Take a look at our carefully curated selection of vape kits to find your perfect one today.
Hungry for more knowledge about vaping? Why not start with our blog post about the two vaping styles: MTL and DTL vaping? Or, if you're using vaping to quit smoking, we recommend checking out our tips to switch from smoking to vaping.
As ex-smokers here at Dr Vapes, we remember how confusing the switch to vaping can be. Sometimes it feels like you need to learn a whole new vocabulary just to get started!
Therefore, we hope that this blog post has helped guide you through choosing your first starter kit. If you have any questions or simply want to chat to an expert, get in touch today!